“He who reflects as a philosopher, that is, under every possible aspect, on realities such as guilt, freedom, or death; or he who considers the fundamental question as to the structure of being (‘What does it mean for something to be real?’), will certainly experience a progressively more profound insight into all that is, in the same measure as his cognitive analysis penetrates every deeper, and as his mind opens up ever more in dispassionate and receptive readiness. More profound insight, of course, is the philosopher’s aim. Still, properly speaking, we cannot maintain that the philosopher, through this approach, would discover things totally unknown thus far, totally unthought thus far, things altogether new and original.”
-Josef Pieper, In Defense of Philosophy
In this passage, Pieper goes on to assert an anamnetical principle, that whatever is discovered through philosophy, and indeed, through anything, is something of a remembrance, the discovery of what what had already been discovered; a re-discovery. The technical aspects of this claim are not, for the intention of this post, terribly important. What is important, however, is to see where Piepr actually goes wrong, as near as he is to the mark: certainly, the individual, natural sciences make the discoveries upon which philosophy reflects and ponders; but the impetus to the endeavors of these natural sciences is itself a manifestation of man’s innate philosophical quest. The two activities are distinct by convention, but not by nature. Every man is born to be a philosopher, and every philosopher is born to know.
The Victory Hop Devil. A perfect beer for the declining temperatures of mid-Autumn, and a great transition towards the darker beers that will be featured in the Winter months. Enjoy!
We’re trying, at present, to put together a print issue. It was supposed to be finished in September, but obviously circumstances changed our priorities, and so unfortunately we’re about a month behind with everything. The new issue should have a bit more aesthetic appeal, and may turn out longer than previous.
If I can get around to it, there will be an article on the blog this week; there will also certainly be a Hilaritatem for October posted on Friday, and possibly a much-belated September beer.
“The real trouble with this world of ours is not that it is an unreasonable world, nor event hat it is a reasonable one. The commonest kind of trouble is that it is very nearly reasonable, but not quite. Life is not an illogicality; yet it is a trap for logicians. It looks just a little more mathematical and regular than it is; its exactitude is obvious, but its inexactitude is hidden; its wildness lies in wait. I give one coarse instance of what I mean. Suppose some mathematical creature from the moon were to reckon up the human body; he would at once see that the essential thing about it was that it was duplicate. A man is two men, he on the right exactly resembling him on the left. Having noted that there was an arm on the right and one on the left, a leg on the right and one on the left, he might go further and still find on each side the same number of fingers, the same number of toes, twin eyes, twin ears, twin nostrils, and even twin lobes of the brain. At last he would take it as a law; and then, where he found a heart on one side, would deduce that there was another heart on the other. And just then, where he most felt he was right, he would be wrong.”
-G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy
A brief lesson in why scientists must be humble.
“It is a matter often discussed why bakers are such excellent citizens and good men. For while it is admitted in every country I was ever in that cobblers are argumentative and atheists (I except the cobbler under Plinlimmon, concerning whom would to heaven I had the space to tell you all here, for he knows the legends of the mountain), while it is public that barbers are garrulous and servile, that millers are cheats (we say in Sussex that every honest miller has a large tuft of hair on the palm of his hand), yet—with every trade in the world having some bad equality attached to it—bakers alone are exempt, and every one takes it for granted that they are sterling: indeed, there are some societies in which, no matter how gloomy and churlish the conversation may have become, you have but to mention bakers for voices to brighten suddenly and for a good influence to pervade every one. I say this is known for a fact, but not usually explained; the explanation is, that bakers are always up early in the morning and can watch the dawn, and that in this occupation they live in lonely contemplation enjoying the early hours.”
-Hilaire Belloc, The Path to Rome
I say it’s because everyone loves bread; but lonely, solitary, quiet contemplation in the rising of God’s glorious creation might have something to do with it.